Alienation of The Stone at Kraton Surakarta - Melati Suryodarmo
Performance artist Melati Suryodarmo spends part of her time in the Indonesian city of Solo, located close to Yogyakarta. Even in Java’s rich history and culture, Solo is renowned as a creative center. Many traditional art forms, including dance, gamelan music and wayung kulit (storytelling puppetry) all thrive in Solo. It is within this environment laden with artistic activities and energies that Melati spent her teenage years.
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Melati’s art education is one part European art education system and one part immersion in the traditional arts and culture of Solo. This blend gives a different context Melati’s works when compared to European performance artists. Most of her works are durational events, often running for more than 10 hours and taking a considerable amount of concentration, intensity and energy. She combines strong concepts, amazing physicality, audience participation and a sense of spirituality in her live performances that leaves an indelible mark on the people who are present.
Alienation of The Stone at Kemlayan - Melati Suryodarmo
A number of Melati’s Indonesia works incorporate the country’s traditions, history and values. A prime example of the artist’s Indonesia work is the “Alienation of the Stone”, a series of photographs from her performance art piece that took place in Solo. Looking to portray the difference between reality and how people perceive reality, Melati covered herself with red cloth. The fabric hid her identity but was unmissable in public. “Alienation of the Stone” also touched on the theme of people feeling alienated from the world around them as Melati is pictured in nearly empty surroundings. On top of all of that, the work represents Melati reclaiming her past by choosing well-known locations in Solo for the performance.
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